Fire rips through home near Bellingham; resident escapes

A man safely escaped a fire that tore through his home just outside of Bellingham on Wednesday afternoon, May 6.

Firefighters arrived to 1392 Lahti Drive around 1:30 and found the garage and part of the house in flames, said North Whatcom Acting Fire Chief Bill Pernett. Firefighters were able contain the fire to the garage within 10 minutes, but the fire destroyed most of the structure, Pernett said.

An elderly man was home at the time and made it out unharmed. The local chapter of the American Red Cross has assisted him in finding a place to stay.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation Wednesday afternoon. Estimated damage to the structure was unknown, but Pernett said the part of the home that was not destroyed by the flames sustained heavy smoke and heat damage.

The Whatcom County Assessor’s site estimates the value of the property at $229,481. The listed owner is Walter H. Kleffel.